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Pistol and Revolver reloads
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:50 am    Post subject: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

I did a quick search an didn't find anything on one subject of interest, powder burn rates versus barrel lengths.

I have looked at the powder burn rate chart and it does not tell me much except that some powders burn faster than others. Can somebody explain what the objective measurement is, how they are tested, and how does this relate to a handguns barrel length.

To me since most handgun barrels are short (compared to a rifle) that you would want a fast burning powder.

For the sake of volume and having a fewer number of powders around I have been looking at handgun reloads using only Hodgdon Universal Clays powder. Here are what I think I want to start with (per the Hodgdon reloading charts):

380 ACP
Bullet: 90 GR. HDY JHP
Powder: Universal
Weight: 3.2
Velocity: 815
Pressure: 10,700 CUP

9MM Luger
Bullet: 124 GR. Speer Gold Dot
Powder: Universal
Weight: 3.0
Velocity: 803
Pressure:24,100 CUP

38 Special Revolver
Bullet: 125 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Universal
Weight: 4.7
Velocity: 918
Pressure: 12,600 CUP

40 S&W
Bullet: 155 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Universal
Weight: 5.7
Velocity: 1056
Pressure: 23,900 PSI

357 Mag Revolver
Bullet: 158 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Universal
Weight: 5.8
Velocity: 1026
Pressure: 32,100 CUP


I am not interested in anything exotic, fancy, or hot, just a reliable, and safe round that is accurate.

And, as I said this is what I believe I want to start with, but am interested in what y'all have to say about the loads, Universal powder, and burn rate versus barrel lengths.

_________________
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. "--Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Les, I don’t fully understand what it is your trying to figure out, but I’ll start with this info.

Barrel length plays a role in velocity no doubt.
Typically smaller cartridges with lighter bullets need faster powders.
Bigger cases with heavier slugs need slower powders.
The combustion takes place in the chamber not in the barrel like a lot of people think. Gas expansion takes place in the barrel and that’s what gives the bullet its push. In order to get a heavier bullet to its potential you need a longer barrel to allow for ample gas expansion.

Keep in mind that a pistol will benefit (velocity) from a longer barrel but then it wouldn’t be a pistol.
Nosler’s #6 manual shows a 250+ FPS increase with a .44 mag in a 18” barrel over the 8” pistol barrel with the same load.

As for the Universal powder, I loved it in my 20 and 28 gauge skeet loads.
I tried it in some pistols but didn’t like it. I should say I didn’t give it the best chance either.
Once I discovered Titegroup for my 9MM and 45 ACP I’ve never looked back. I have since loaded it in .38, .357, .40 and 44mag, it’s the best thing I’ve found for multi-purpose !!!

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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

chambered221
I'll try to explain.

I am a data junkie, as well as a tool junkie.

On the powder burn rates it is OK that they are listed in order of speed of burn, but is there not a corresponding number that is applied. Like Universal burns at 50 grains a second and Titegroup burns at 65 grains a second. Just saying one burns faster than another leaves a lot to the imagination.

My handguns barrel lengths are as follows;
380 ACP 2.5"
9 MM 3"
38 Spc 2"
40 S&W 4.5"
357 Mag 4.5"

Even with these various lengths one of the things I would like to be able to do is to have as few varieties of gunpowder around as possible, so if I go with either of the two powders mentioned I can buy 8 pounds, instead of one pound of this and one pound of that, and so on.

I looked at Titegroup, that one looks better than my choice, if what Hodgdon says is accurate. Thanks.

_________________
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. "--Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Yes, you are referring to the linear burning rate.

Don't try and find it, I don't think it's published, its only a referance for balistic labs.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Les, I think your best bet for selecting one powder for all 5 handgun loads is to just compare the loads for those cartridges/bullet-weights in a couple of manuals and see if one powder can give you what you want. Universal Clays is a good powder and can be used in all the cartridges you listed but its not the highest velocity powder for all. I've used Universal for .32 H&R up through .45 Colt and it worked in all but isn't my preference for all. I tried the "one powder" route long ago but eventually gave it up. Tweaking for best performance across a number of cartridges just requires that you use several powders.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Les, you questioned how it was tested !!!

The linear burning rate is data that comes from a ballistic bomb.
Powder charges are set off with a electrical charge. Pressure readings are taken with every charge. The series of readings are then used to compile info such as amount of increase in pressure, peak rise, and a time curve to name a few.
This info is only the basis of how they determine load data.
Real world influences then have to be taken into account.
Things such as temperature, how tight a chamber is, how heavy of a crimp, lead bullet or jacketed bullet ect, ect, ect.

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Ask as many people needed, sooner or later your question will be answered the way you want it answered !!!

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

The testing of powder in a "static bomb" in no way is relative to what happens in the chamber of a firearm.
The bomb has more "air space" than the loads in a cartridge.
The bomb is a completely closed system - the internal volume never changes.
The bomb is not vented in any way.
Because of the charactaristics of the bomb, there are powders that test as faster burning that are slower than the powders listed as slower. This is especially true with ball and other double base powders.
That is why you often hear advice to ignore the burn rate charts and use tested load data to find the right powder for your load.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Don't get too hung up on "burning rate". Even the manufacturers admit that powders often change relationship within the lists from one lot to the next. This is the prime reason that they all strongly recommend reducing loads when switching to a different lot of the same powder.
Chambered221 is correct: The appropriateness of any given powder is more of a relationship between case capacity and bullet weight than in having anything to do with barrel length.

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sniper
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Lester:
I have had a lot of the same questions. I used SR 4756 for 125gr. jacketed bullet loads for years, then DuPont's safety recommendations nixed that. I then used Blue Dot, and Alliant now has issued a the same sort of warning. It got so confusing Bang Head ...soooo... I have finally settled on the following:

Unique for almost everything, Smile and on the Alliant rep's recommendation, I replaced the Blue dot with 2400 for more velocity or...? I don't load max in any of my guns, and think that 1000-1100 fps is plenty for cast bullets, and the equivalent of the old Remington "Mid-range" .357 Magnum 125 gr. JHP loads @~ 1200 is excellent.

Actually, .38 Spl +P equivalent loads seem to be a better choice, as I get older. Better controllability at 950-1000 fps, and still plenty effective. Of course, I still have a box or three of factory ammo put by, just in case. When I get my 9mm, I'll have to start the whole thing over again. Maybe this time, I'll be smarter. Very Happy

I will admit to buying a can of Universal years ago, which has about the same burning rate as Unique, and the same bulk, so when I inspect the cases before seating the bullet, I can discover a "short" load, or an overcharge. According to my manuals, there doesn't seem to be much difference, but Unique has a broader application, IMO.

That said, I will use my Universal. No sense wasting it, and it has potentially ~1,000 reloads per pound.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it does make the gun go off with a frightening bang, Shocked and I can't explain exactly why I don't like it as much as other powders. (maybe what we are raised with?) Lots of other folks use it and like it, tho. It looks like it does well in all your applications, though.


Last edited by sniper on Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

I believe that I have around 16 different powders in my reloading room, but for pistol, my one consistent powder that I pretty much try to use for my pistols is W-231.
It is clean burning, meters great, and gives me my best accuracy.
Except for Hunting loads which I use H110 for, most of my range pistols are loaded with 231.
These include:
.45 ACP
9mm-I also use Power Pistol with 9mm
.44 mag.
.40cal
44/40
.38 Special

45 colt I use Trail Boss
41 Mag I use Unique and IMR4227

I hope that this helps, and like the other guys say, don't get too hung up on burn rates. Just go with the Reloading tables.

Eric

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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Thanks to ya'll for your input I have changed what I had planned on doing because of your input. Still going to stick with one powder for starters though, but changed it from Universal to Titegroup, also changed some of the bullet weights too.

380 ACP, 2.5"
Bullet: 90 GR. HDY JHP
Powder: Titegroup
Weight: 2.7
Velocity: 826
Pressure: 10,800 CUP

9MM Luger, 3"
Bullet: 115 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Titegroup
Weight: 4.5
Velocity: 1135
Pressure:29,500 CUP

38 Special Revolver, 2"
Bullet: 125 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Titegroup
Weight: 4.3
Velocity: 953
Pressure: 12,800 CUP

40 S&W, 4.5"
Bullet: 155 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Titegroup
Weight: 5.4
Velocity: 1058
Pressure: 28,400 PSI

357 Mag Revolver, 4.5"
Bullet: 158 GR. HDY XTP
Powder: Titegroup
Weight: 6.8
Velocity: 1425
Pressure: 36,500 CUP

These are all the minimum loads according ti the Hodgdon Data Center, and unless anyone sees something something dangerous this is where I will start. I picked up two pounds of Titegroup. I will try this a report the results, and adjust as necessary.

For the two rifles I am reloading I am using Barnes bullets and their manual to reload.

For the .270 I will use
130 Gr Barnes TSX BT
Powder H4350 @ 52 grains to start, vel. should be about 2927
Primer WLRM

And for the 7MM Mag I will use,

Barnes 150 Grain TSX BT
Powder IMR 4831 @ 55 grains, vel should be about 2737
Primer WLRM

Again if anyone sees anything dangerous please let me know.

As before I will report on the loads as soon as possible.

_________________
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. "--Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

You have a good handle on the reloading thing Lester.
Just have fun now.

Many of my shooting buddies use Titegroup and really like it.

Eric

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Pistol and Revolver reloads Reply with quote

Lester: 4831, both IMR and Hodgdon flavors also work very well with 130 gr. bullets in the good ol' 270! Cool
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